Monday, August 02, 2010
Over 20 million children under the age of five are overweight, indicate latest WHO statistics. Obesity is on the rise and has reached epidemic proportions in the world. About twenty percent of children are either overweight or obese.
The Body Mass Index (BMI) estimates the ideal weight of a person based on his size and weight. It is valid for an adult man or woman (18 to 65 years). Doctors often use it to measure obesity. BMI is equal to a person's weight in kilograms (kg) divided by his height in meters (m) squared. Adults with a BMI of 30 or higher are considered obese. But those having a BMI of 40 or more are extremely obese.
It's a common belief that eating too much and exercising too little is the main cause of gaining weight. But this is not true all the time. It is my personal observation that some people eat a lot but they do not gain weight. They are quite healthy, slim and smart. And there are many who take very little food, but they are overweight. You may also have observed the same.
There is another set of people who eat a lot but keep losing weight. It shows there are other factors involved in obesity rather than the eating habit alone.
Genes play a great role in tendencies to gain weight or lose weight. There may be more chances to develop obesity if one or both parents are obese. Some studies have shown that certain drugs, such as steroids, antidepressants, high blood pressure, medications used to lower blood sugar such as insulin may cause excessive weight gain.
For some people, emotions influence their eating habits. Many people eat excessively in response to boredom, sadness, stress or anger. While most overweight people have no more psychological disturbances than normal weight people, about 30 percent of the people who seek treatment for serious weight problems have difficulties with binge eating. Diseases such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome and Cushing's syndrome also contribute to obesity.
Women tend to be more overweight than men. Men burn more energy at rest than women, so men require more calories to maintain their body weight. The metabolic rate decreases in women when they reach the postmenopausal age. That is partly why many women gain weight after menopause.
Obesity is not just a cosmetic consideration. It is widely known that obesity is the fertile land for disease. Health problems start when someone starts getting overweight, and the likelihood of problems increases as someone becomes more and more overweight. Many of these conditions cause long-term suffering for individuals and families such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis) of the knees, hips, and the lower back.
A very interesting Norwegian study showed that obesity tended to increase blood pressure more significantly in women than in men. The risk of developing high blood pressure is also higher in obese people who are apple shaped (central obesity) than in people who are pear shaped (fat distribution mainly in hips and thighs).
There are a lot of treatments available in the market for obesity. But almost all of them are associated with serious side effects and toxicity except homeopathy. Homeopathy is a time tested, proven method to cure obesity. The writer has also seen amazing results in treating obesity in the patients who were determined and followed the instructions carefully.
International research shows that homeopathic medicines are extremely effective in reducing weight by improving the metabolic system, digestive system and elementary system.
Homeopathy is the fastest growing system of medicine in the world. There is wider acceptance of homeopathy in such countries as France, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, India and Great Britain. The British royal family is patronizing the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital for the last one hundred years and prefer taking homeopathic treatment when needed.
It is not necessary to achieve an 'ideal weight' to derive health benefits from obesity treatment. Instead, the goal of treatment should be to reach and hold to a 'healthier weight.' The emphasis of treatment should be to commit to the process of life-long healthy living including eating more wisely and increasing physical activity. In sum, the goal in dealing with obesity is to achieve and maintain a 'healthier weight.'
Dr. Asghar Ali Shah